I want to let people know that homeless people are people too”.
Those were the words of Jahkil Naeem Jackson about two years ago when he began doing wonders and impacting lives across the globe.
Now 12 years old, Jackson, from Chicago, Illinois, is a business-minded youngster with the love for humanity.
The social entrepreneur is on a mission to help the homeless in Chicago and throughout the world. He’s a student, an actor, a tap dancer, a basketball player, and a model.
After helping his aunt distribute food to the Chicago homeless, Jackson had a heartfelt desire to help those in need. He wanted to do more to make a difference so he created “Project I Am” when he was only 8 years old.
Through Project I Am, Jackson started creating awareness of homelessness and he began helping the homeless population by offering them what he calls ‘Blessing Bags’, a giveaway filled with wipes, socks, deodorant, hand sanitizer, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water, and more.
He’s already given out over 6,000 Blessing Bags, according to reports. His efforts, alongside support from his family and friends, have touched over 35,000 men, women and children across the world.
When Jahkil was five years, he reportedly managed a resource table at Holiday for Hope, an event held in December of every year to celebrate the holidays for homeless children.
It was at that celebration that Tom Tuohy, a social entrepreneur and founder of the non-profit organization, Dream for Kids met Jahkil’s patents and enrolled him in the Dreams for Kids YES (Youth Enterprise Solutions) program becoming the youngest ever in the history of the program.
His mother, Na-Tae’ Thompson says ” he yells at us if we
“He would literally tear up when he would see someone who was homeless,” his mom said. He wants to buy everybody a house”.
“Seeing people on the street made me really sad because I thought everybody had homes,” Jackson told Today.
Former President Barack Obama honoured Jackson’s work on Twitter and in-person. The Obama
“When I’m giving the bags to people it makes me feel like I’m getting one step closer to demolishing the whole homeless thing… and it makes me happy to see the smiles on their faces,” Jackson said.
Forbes describes him as “a role model for other kids, a gift to those in need, and a young businessman who is going places.”
He has gone as far as providing Blessing Bags to orphans in Mbabane, Swaziland, as well as volcano victims in Guatemala, and hurricane survivors in Florida, Houston, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Jahkil is also a motivational speaker with the intent to influence kids around the country to get involved in their communities.
In 2016, he was named a Youth Ambassador for Heartland Alliance. In 2017, he became a member of the WE International Youth Council and he won a 2017 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award that goes to 25 young people making a positive difference in the world.
The following year, Jackson became the youngest member of the Independent Youth group. He participated in Disney’s Be Inspired Black History Campaign and Lebron James’ #AlwaysBelieve 2018 campaign.
Jackson was recently voted Vice Chairman of the 2019 KidBox Youth Board of Directors, named one of BET‘s 15 under 15 and is a CNN 2019 Young Hero.
Jackson says he is a businessman, and he wants to own his own NBA Team. “So I have a lot of work ahead of me. I am already working on plans to make sure this happens. When I grow up, I want to be a part of the solution to end homelessness and help the underserved in this country,” he says.
He envisages building a tiny house movement in Chicago, one that will allow social service agencies build small houses for people who are homeless. “I want to build one with my bare hands,”